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A society with a long history and royal approval

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The Ancient Society of York Florists will be holding the event at Wigginton Recreation Hall at 11am on Saturday, September 9.

York Press: Hard work and skill in evidence from a previous showHard work and skill in evidence from a previous show (Image: Ann Simpson)

The society was formed in 1768 with a first show in Colliergate, where six florists’ efforts were accepted.

A plaque above Barnitts home essentials store bears witness to its beginnings.

In the same year, Captain James Cook embarked on his first voyage of discovery on the HMS Endeavour, James Arkwright sent a patent application off for his spinning machine and the Royal Academy of Arts was founded in London.

York Press: Entries are not just limited to flowersEntries are not just limited to flowers (Image: Ann Simpson)

Society documents bear the royal coat of arms from the Queen Anne period and King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra were patrons.


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The society is affiliated to The Royal Horticultural Society and next month’s show includes classifications for Roses and Fuchsias, Chrysanthemums, pot plants and cut flowers.

Its website talks of ‘The Chrysanthemum Era’ – a time when the majority of growers worked allotments in the Bootham Stray area of the city.

York Press: Colliergate was home to the society's first show in 1768Colliergate was home to the society’s first show in 1768 (Image: Kevin Glenton)

Materials used for construction of greenhouses and potting sheds on the land were said to come courtesy of the North Eastern Railway or Rowntrees scrap.

York Press: There's a wide range of classifications in each showThere’s a wide range of classifications in each show (Image: Ann Simpson)

The full schedule of events can be found here.



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